RESTRICTIONS on the movement of bees, hives and associated materials into SA from NSW have been put into effect to protect the state from Varroa mite.
This includes beeswax comb (including comb containing brood and honey); apiary products not covered by the commercial honey exemption; used beekeeping equipment and appliances, including beekeeping tools and plant, clothing, footwear, veils and gloves, hives and hive components; shipping containers that have contained any apiary products; and vehicles used at apiaries or used to carry regulated articles.
These items cannot be brought into SA from NSW without written permission of the Chief Inspector of Stock, following the detection of Varroa mite in NSW.
Details on how to apply are provided on the PIRSA website.
PIRSA is aware of the upcoming almond pollination season and is examining options under which bees may be allowed to enter from NSW.
This would require a risk assessment to be conducted to determine if there are options that would allow movement of bees from NSW to occur without posing an unacceptable risk to SA's apiary and horticultural industries.
The State Government is working closely with NSW Department of Primary Industries, the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment, pollination-dependent industries, including almonds, and the SA apiary industry through the national emergency plant pest response process.
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PIRSA has set up an Incident Management Team to stop the spread of Varroa mite into SA.
Incident controller Michael McManus said all beekeepers were urged to check their hives and sample for Varroa mite - a reddish-brown parasite of the European honey bee around 1mm in diameter.
"Bee biosecurity is key to protecting the industry from pests and diseases and every beekeeper has a responsibility to look after their hives," he said.
"If you detect or suspect Varroa mite in your bees, email PIRSA.email@example.com or call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline 1800 084 881."
Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister Clare Scriven said SA registered beekeepers and the industry network have been issued an SMS alert and email providing detailed information and advice on what beekeepers and apiarists in this state need to do in response to the detection.
There are nearly 3000 beekeepers registered with Biosecurity SA and abut 61,000 hives in SA.
The SA apiary industry pollinates agricultural and horticultural crops valued at an estimated $1.7 billion and produces more than $11 million worth of honeybee products.
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